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12 Apr 2011  

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IE10: Microsoft Picks Up Its Browser Pace

  • April 12, 2011

IE10: Microsoft Picks Up Its Browser Pace

Lance Ulanoff

While not quite Google fast, Microsoft's browser development efforts are moving at an ever-accelerating pace.
Internet Explorer 9, one of the most radical overhauls of Microsoft's venerable Web browser officially launched less than a month ago, and many people have not even tried it. So imagine their shock when Microsoft announced at MIX 2011 the availability of the Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview.
Granted, this is not a full-blown Web browser and crashes too frequently for any average person to consider using it, but its very existence puts consumers and competitors on notice: Microsoft is picking up the pace. No, it's not quite Google pace. Internet Explorer 9 does not quietly update behind the scenes every time you launch it—instead updates will likely come through Windows Update. Internet Explorer 9 actually took a solid year to make it from its own platform preview to launch. On the other hand, it was a solid year between IE8's launch and the first IE9 platform preview and a full 24 months between releases, so maybe Microsoft is tightening things up.
Microsoft isn't saying when IE10 will launch, though it does promise code refreshes every 12 weeks (that's not quite three months to you and I). I do hope, though, that the 12-weeks-between-updates schedule does not add up to a full 52 weeks of development. Microsoft should continue tightening the development cycle until it's only six months between major releases.
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Curious to see exactly what magic I'd find in the next major Internet Explorer release, I downloaded the IE10 Platform Preview and was surprised to find that that it looks almost exactly the same as IE9's platform preview interface. What, exactly, is the purpose of stripping away the whole interface again? Does Microsoft plan on anther redesign?
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